2021 Fantasy Football: Week 2 Waiver Wire Rankings
Working the waiver wire throughout the fantasy football season is crucial to winning your league. Every fantasy football season, no matter the league size, there is value to be had on the waiver wire. Each week, managers have a pool of players to browse through to decide whether or not to put in a waiver claim to hopefully add to their rosters. Of course, this is true in our Week 2 Waiver Wire as well.
You may be dealing with injuries, bye weeks, or just need to cycle out talent from your bench. Whatever the case may be, the waiver wire is there to help. There’s not always a need to put in a claim for players each week, but if you do, make it count. Below, we’ll look at players at each position, who are on 50% or less of most fantasy football rosters, that could be considered on the Week 2 waiver wire.
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Week 2 Waiver Wire By Position
Elijah Mitchell, San Francisco 49ers
Mitchell is arguably the biggest priority add from the Week 2 waiver wire. With Raheem Mostert heading to the Injured Reserve for at least eight weeks for a knee cartilage injury, Mitchell is seemingly the next man up. He led all 49ers running backs on Sunday with 19 carries for 104 yards and one touchdown. It’s worth mentioning that 73 of Mitchell’s yards were earned after contact.
San Francisco will still mix in JaMychal Hasty at times, but he’s only worth consideration in deeper leagues or those with deep benches. More importantly, rookie, Trey Sermon, is expected to work his way onto the active roster after a surprise healthy scratch in Week 1. There’s still a chance that Sermon wins the starting job, but Mitchell doesn’t look like he’s going to give it up that easily.
For a running back position that is notoriously scarce, you should be finding room for Mitchell on your bench. Put in your top claim and hope you can snag him off of this week’s waiver wire.
Kenneth Gainwell, Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Sirianni’s offense is kind to the running back position. Both Miles Sanders and rookie Kenneth Gainwell were involved in the Eagles’ road win in Atlanta this past weekend. While Sanders logged six more rushing attempts than Gainwell, it was the rookie who found the end zone on one of his nine carries.
The key here is that Gainwell has a role over known passing-down back commodity, Boston Scott. If that continues, Gainwell will be a weekly flex consideration, particularly in 12-team or deeper leagues. Sirianni’s 2020 Colts offense produced the overall RB7 in Jonathan Taylor, as well as the RB16, Nyheim Hines. Gainwell mimics the Hines role so far based on training camp and Week 1 usage.
You don’t need to have Miles Sanders on your roster to consider Gainwell on the waiver wire. If you’ve got the room, add him for some mid-to-late season potential in PPR formats.
Tony Jones, Jr., New Orleans Saints
Jones, Jr. is the new handcuff in the Big Easy behind Alvin Kamara. The Saints outright dominated the Green Bay Packers, which probably led to Jones Jr.’s more than expected 11 carries. He did see one of Jameis Winston’s exclusive 20 targets while Kamara caught three of his four.
Kamara is the focal point of this Saints offense. He rarely misses time but has been known to take a backseat as a ball carrier to Latavius Murray in years past, who is now a Baltimore Raven. In fact, Kamara has never eclipsed 200 carries in a single season. If he were to miss time, Jones, Jr. would undoubtedly be the top waiver wire add that following week.
Given his early workload and team success, it’s better to be early than late on this type of player. If you have Kamara on your roster, Tony Jones, Jr. should be your priority waiver wire add this week. If not, Jones Jr. is worth a deep bench spot in the event Kamara misses time, but likely won’t have obvious opportunities to start in fantasy any given week.
Mark Ingram/Phillip Lindsay, Houston Texans
Your guess is as good as mine! If I had to choose, I’d say Ingram is the waiver wire add to have from the Texans based on his 26 carries, second amongst all NFL backs, in Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Each of these running backs are coming off of a Week 1 upset in which they both found the end zone on the ground. Meanwhile, David Johnson logged a few runs and caught a touchdown of his own.
Realistically, this Texans team isn’t going to win many more, if any more, games this season. They’re still projected to command the first-overall pick in next year’s draft. While Ingram acted as the workhorse this past weekend, it’s hard to imagine he retains that type of workload for 17 games. With that said, Lindsay should have better success running the ball with David Johnson as the more successful pass-catching back.
This is one of the strongest running back committees across the league. It’s hard to ignore the box score from Sunday, so if you do need bench depth, Ingram is probably the one to put a claim in for off of the waiver wire. Just don’t make him your top add if there’s better talent out there at other positions.
Other Running Backs to Consider
Carlos Hyde has an obvious connection with Jacksonville Jaguars head coach, Urban Meyer, having played for him at Ohio State University. Hyde is an offseason free agency signing that is, so far, spoiling last year’s breakout, James Robinson’s attempt at repeating his 2020 success. Hyde saw 11 touches to Robinson’s eight. This team could be a disaster all around and Hyde isn’t someone to trust off of the waiver wire unless truly desperate.
Damien Williams is the obvious backup running back on the Chicago Bears behind David Montgomery. More importantly, for PPR formats, he looks like the passing-down back. Montgomery looks much stronger and more elusive this season. He will always lead the team in carries. Williams is worth the waiver wire add if Monty goes down and you want Williams’ potential and experience waiting in the wing.
Cordarelle Patterson led the Atlanta Falcons in rushing yards (54) and yards per carry (7.7) in their home opener loss versus the Eagles. The running back/wide receiver hybrid of a player added 13 yards on two catches, as well. The Falcons did not have newly acquired running back, Wayne Gallman, active for this game. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where Patterson works his way into a fantasy football starting lineup. Deep league/bench waiver wire add only.
Sterling Shepard, New York Giants
The New Giants struggled at home against the Denver Broncos. Shepard is the obvious winner here, however, having led the team in targets (9), receptions (7), yards (113), and was the lone touchdown scorer through the air.
Running back Saquon Barkley is still working his way back to 100% after a season-ending knee injury last year. Furthermore, offseason free-agent signee, Kenny Golladay, is working his way back from a hamstring injury of his own. Golladay looks close to full strength and could soon take Shepard’s role leading the Giants in target share.
Regardless, Shepard is one of Daniel Jones’ most trustworthy receivers. If you’re in immediate need of a plug-and-play wide receiver for Week 2, grab Shepard off of the waiver wire and be prepared to start him as he plays Thursday Night Football. Shepard carries the safest floor of any Week 2 waiver wire option this week.
Tim Patrick/KJ Hamler, Denver Broncos
The news of Jerry Jeudy’s high ankle sprain gives both Patrick and Hamler a boost in waiver wire wide receiver priority. Second-year stud, Jeudy, is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks with the injury. Given the nature of high ankle sprains and how difficult they are to return from, it could be longer for Jeudy.
With that said, Tim Patrick is the better option to earn most of Jeudy’s target share. He not only saw almost 70% more snaps on Sunday than Hamler but found the end zone. Hamler is a speedy option with big-play potential any given week. He can be added to deep-league benches. Otherwise, Patrick will provide a more consistent floor with legitimate touchdown opportunities as a go-to option for Teddy Bridgewater in the red zone.
Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders
It’s hard to imagine anyone could have done anything in the Raiders Week 1 offense outside of tight end, Darren Waller’s 19 (not a typo) targets. In fact, Bryan Edwards, who finished with four catches for 81 yards, did just that in the final moments of the game, specifically in overtime.
Edwards was close to scoring a game-winning touchdown, too, but was just a yard shy from reaching for it. Waller’s pace of 19 targets per game would put him at a 17-game pace of 323 targets. That’ just to show you how ridiculous it is. Therefore, if another pass-catcher is going to present himself, it’s like Edwards. He even gained a ton of attention this summer when head coach, Jon Gruden, compared him to former NFL wide receiver, Terrell Owens.
Just in case he is the second coming of T.O., consider adding Edwards to your bench, especially if your league mates didn’t stay up to watch the end of Monday Night Football.
Christian Kirk/Rondale Moore/AJ Green, Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals passing attack lit up the Tennessee Titans defense on Sunday. That’s easy to do when you have MVP candidate, Kyler Murray, under center. DeAndre Hopkins got going early with two touchdowns and is the obvious top target in this aerial attack.
However, behind Hopkins, no clear-cut second option emerged. Although Kirk did have two touchdowns of his own, he, rookie, Rondale Moore, and veteran, AJ Green, all saw at least five targets (5,5,6 respectively). Green only caught two of his six but Moore kept pace with Kirk as far as receptions and yards go, but missed out on reaching the end zone.
It’s hard to imagine Kyler Murray slowing down any time soon so his receiving corps should be worth looking at on the waiver wire. Kirk has the established rapport with Murray, but Moore’s speed and Green’s veteran experience cannot be denied. I’d add them in the order they’re listed above with Moore carrying the highest ceiling.
Terrace Marshall, Jr., Carolina Panthers
Don’t let Robby Anderson’s 12.7 PPR fantasy points fool you. They were all earned on a lone 57-yard touchdown catch. Meanwhile, rookie, Terrace Marshall, Jr. saw double the amount of targets as Anderson (six to three).
Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore are the top targets in the Panthers’ passing attack. Marshall, Jr., though adds an ability to get downfield but also offers size that Robby Anderson doesn’t quite have. It will be hard to trust the rookie any time soon in fantasy football starting lineups. Anderson could very well turn around in Week 2 and double his Week 1 production.
In the meantime, Marshall, Jr., is worth getting on your bench until this offense sorts itself out. The Panthers offense is loaded and worth getting a piece of. If you have room, add this rookie on the waiver wire as a top option amongst the wide receiver position.
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
Behind the talents of Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, the Rams’ third option in the passing game is always worth consideration. While the Rams added Desean Jackson and Tutu Atwell in free agency and the draft, respectively, it was Jefferson on the field the most of the three of them. He played 36 snaps to DJax’s 14 and Atwell’s measly two snaps.
Jefferson turned two of his three targets into 80 yards, of which was a 67-yard touchdown. Quarterback, Matt Stafford, is on the hunt for a Super Bowl championship and is an early MVP candidate. That, coupled with Jefferson’s Week 1 heroics, makes him a top waiver wire add at wide receiver.
Other Wide Receivers to Consider
Marquez Valdez-Scantling is probably going to remain a free agent in fantasy even after the waiver period ends given how confusingly awful the Green Bay Packers looked this weekend. If you’re willing to look past the loss, you’ll see that MVS had 7 targets, which was second to Davante Adams. The second pass-catcher on a team with Aaron Rodgers should be off of the waiver wire and on someone’s bench by the end of this week.
Zach Pascal is the winner out of Indianapolis having found the end zone twice for the Colts on just five targets. While he did score twice, his stat line was no different than most of the other receivers. Carson Wentz threw 15 passes to his running backs, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. Pascal is worth an add off of the Week 2 waiver wire in deeper leagues.
Deonte Harris, the New Orleans Saints wide receiver, is also a deep league consideration. Jameis Winston threw five touchdown passes, but only recorded 148 passing yards. Still, five touchdowns is impressive and Harris scored two of them. He’s worth a deep bench stash until there’s a bit more clarity of how Winston and this offense is looking in a few weeks.
Adam Trautman/Juwan Johnson, New Orleans Saints
Adam Truatman led the Saints in targets with six total in a game where New Orleans outright dominated. He only turned them into 18 yards, but he was on the field for at least 80% of the team’s snaps. A tight end who’s on the field that often, seeing targets, with a quarterback who threw five touchdowns is worth an add from the waiver wire.
Juwan Johnson, however, may be touchdown-dependent. Honestly, because tight end can be difficult to find a consistent starter at, I’d okay throwing a dart at someone like Johnson who is an obvious end zone target for this team.
Trautman and Johnson are both worth taking a chance on if you don’t have an obvious weekly starter at tight end. If you’re going to add either on the waiver wire, it is most likely at the expense of your current tight end starter. Ahead of Week 2, I’d lean Trautman over Johnson.
Cole Kmet, Chicago Bears
Kmet was tied for second in targets amongst all Bears pass catchers with seven. He finished like most tight ends with a handful of catches for a handful of yards, but the target share is encouraging. Especially since Jimmy Graham is sticking around on this team for the 2021 season, Kmet seeing the majority of tight end targets is a huge plus.
It’s only a matter of time before Justin Fields is the starting quarterback and Andy Dalton takes a seat on the bench. Kmet’s value will be that much better when that time comes. Kmet could be worth grabbing on the waiver wire now in the event he returns top-10 value later.
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
This may be the fifth time that I’ve said it, but Jameis Winston threw five touchdowns on Sunday against the Packers. The last time we saw Jameis as a full-season starter, he threw for over 5,000 passing yards and 30 touchdowns. He infamously threw for 30 interceptions, too, but we’re here to focus on the positives.
The Saints are a well-coached team with a handful of playmakers. It’s just one game, but if you need a change at quarterback already, and Winston is out there on your Week 2 waiver wire, he is the top quarterback add this week to start in Week 2.
Justin Fields, Chicago Bears
Fields is the obvious choice to pick up off of the waiver wire. He’s merely a bench stash for the time being until Bears head coach, Matt Nagy, comes to his senses and benches Andy Dalton. Fields saw some action on Sunday. He even found the end zone on one rushing attempt. That was enough to score more fantasy points than Dalton did for the entirety of the game versus the Rams.
If you have a bottom-10 ranked quarterback, and/or play in a deeper league, Fields should find his way on your bench. Not everyone can afford to roster two quarterbacks. That’s okay. Don’t cut a quality bench running back or wide receiver for Fields, but if you have the space, get him on your team.
Trey Lance, San Fransisco 49ers
Like Fields, Lance also got some in-game action on Sunday, throwing his first NFL touchdown pass. Starter, Jimmy Garropolo, however, logged over 300 yards and a touchdown of his own. The 49ers came away with a win and, until there is obvious signs of struggle, Lance will merely be a change of pace player used in specific packages.
I prefer Fields to Lance for weekly fantasy football production. If at any point Garropolo is benched, Lance has top-10 potential on this team at quarterback. Only stash Lance at this point if you have the roster spot and if you believe that is a possibility.
Did you find Colin’s Week 2 Waiver Wire helpful? For more help in getting your lineups set this week check out the rest of our rankings and analysis for NFL Week 2!
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